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Swansea University will host a series of events at this year’s Hay Festival, which brings writers and readers together for an inspiring array of conversations, debates, workshops and performances online, from Wednesday 26 May to Sunday 6 June.

Over 12 days, more than 250 acclaimed writers, global policy makers, historians, poets, pioneers and innovators will take part in this year’s Festival, launching the best new fiction and non-fiction. It will interrogate some of the biggest issues of our time, from building a better world post-pandemic to tackling the compound crises of climate change, inequality, and challenges to truth and democracy.

On Thursday 27 May at 1pm, Michael Bresalier, Lecturer in the History of Medicine at Swansea University, will deliver a lunchtime lecture entitled, ‘Learning to live with Covid-19 – What can the History of Influenza Teach us?’.

As we learn to adapt to living with Covid-19, Dr Bresalier will explore the history of influenza in the 20th century and trace the process by which humanity has adapted to influenza – an ever-changing process and enormous global challenge.

At 4pm on Thursday 27 May, New Yorker Raven Leilani, winner of this year’s Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, will talk to the 2020 winner Bryan Washington about winning the prize for her highly acclaimed debut novel, Luster - a provocatively page-turning and painfully funny novel about what it means to be a black millennial woman in America.

Awarded for the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under, the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize celebrates the international world of fiction in all its forms including poetry, novels, short stories, and drama.

Leilani will also appear later in the Festival in the 10@10 series in conversation with Pandora Sykes on Friday 4 June.

On Sunday 30 May at 1pm, actor, activist, and honorary fellow of Swansea University, Michael Sheen, will join Professor Daniel Williams and former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, to discuss the life, work, and continued relevance of Raymond Williams, as a new centenary edition of his collected writings on Wales is published. The new edition of Who Speaks for Wales? Nation, Culture, Identity (University of Wales Press) is edited by Professor Daniel Williams, Co-Director of Swansea University’s Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales.

Michael Sheen said: "Williams’ Who Speaks for Wales? is a truly landmark publication. It has had a profound effect on me and on countless others. The new afterword to this expanded centenary edition shows how his thinking is as important and relevant today as it has ever been." This discussion, ranging from 1920s Pandy to wartime Paris, from Extinction Rebellion to Yes Cymru, will be conducted with his words in mind.

Explore the full Festival programme and register for the free events here.

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